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A manuscript of Ralph F. Voss’s novel A Life of William Inge: The Strains of Triumph (University Press of Kansas, 1989).

Ralph F. Voss, a Kansas native who grew up watching the films based on Inge’s plays, is a former professor of English at the University of Alabama. He also taught at the University of Texas, East Texas State University, Atlanta Junior College, and was a visiting professor of the University of Utah. Voss’s other books include Truman Capote and the Legacy of ‘In Cold Blood,’ and Magical Muse: Millennial Essays on Tennessee Williams.

William Inge (1913-1973) was a playwright, screenwriter, and novelist known as the “Playwright of the Midwest.” Born in Independence, Kansas, he attended Independence Community College and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1935 with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Drama. Inge worked as a laborer on state highways, as a Wichita news announcer, and taught English and drama at Cherokee County Community High School in Columbus, Kansas. He completed his Master of Arts degree at George Peabody College for Teachers, in Nashville, Tennessee in 1938, and taught at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri until 1943. Following that teaching job, he became a drama critic and later began writing plays. These include Come Back, Little Sheba (1950), Picnic (1953), and Bus Stop (1955). Picnic won Inge a Pulitzer Prize. His screenplay for the 1961 film, Splendor in the Grass, won him an Academy Award. Inge also wrote screenplays for television, and two novels set in Freedom, Kansas, a fictional town. Near the end of his life, Inge taught playwrighting at the University of California.

Publication Date



Languages and Literatures


Arts and Humanities

Size of Collection

.4 linear feet

Dates of Collection


Manuscript Number

SpC MS 0332

Voss, Ralph F., Collection, 1986-1995



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